UK-based Jaguar restorer Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth unveiled a rather unique project this week. It calls it the world's first stretched Jaguar E-Type. While the few inches of stretch don't necessarily do anything for the 1968 E-Type Series 1 4.2 roadster's timeless beauty, they purportedly improve its ride for passengers and driver alike. A matching E-Type trailer finishes off a strange but interesting package.
"Our client wanted the interior leg room of a Series 3 V12 E-Type but the aesthetics of a Series 1 car," explains CMC managing director Nick Goldthorp. "We have added four and a half inches to the floor pan, which will give the leg room of the V12 plus an additional one inch if required."
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"The V12 was actually nine inches longer than a Series 1, but a lot of the additional room was behind the seats as storage and was not required on our project. By adding four and a half inches to the length of the car, we were able to retain the overall look of the Series 1 and also turn this E-Type into a unique car."
In addition to the 4.5-inch (11.4-cm) stretch job, CMC raised the roof above the driver's head by an inch and a quarter (3.2 cm) and redesigned the trunk floor around a 20-gallon fuel tank and wider spare wheel. It also added air conditioning and upgraded the car's powertrain and running gear with a five-speed gearbox, power steering, upgraded suspension and upgraded brakes.
"The car is phenomenal to drive," Goldthorp opines. "This is the E-Type that Jaguar Cars should have built. The extra space makes all the difference and actually alters the whole attitude of the car."
To complete the package, Paul Branstad, the American owner who sent the car into CMC after it was involved in a frontal impact, requested a matching trailer. CMC complied with flair, melding two E-Type rear-ends into a matching cargo hauler. The trailer is connected via a hitch mechanism integrated into the reverse lights. When not in use, the hitch is concealed by the lights, maintaining seamless E-Type styling ... without a hitch.
Branstad nicknamed the car the Kaizen, a Japanese term and core principle of Toyota, which means "continuous improvement." He believes original E-Type designer Malcolm Sayer would have understood his vision for "improving" the car.
"As an idea, the Kaizen E-Type was a conceit of the imagination but the car itself has now become a reality by taking advantage of modern material and component technologies provided by CMC," Branstad says of his new ride. "With nine inches more wheelbase, the 2+2 was too long to be beautiful, but the four and a half inches added to the Kaizen E-type could make the car even more beautiful than the original Series 1 edition."
Clearly, Branstad and Goldthorp aren't the most modest guys at the office. It's one thing to tinker with the design of one of the world's most beautiful sports cars; it's another to declare to the world that your tinkering made it better in every way.
Source: Classic Motor CarsView gallery - 2 images